Put a hold on my retirement: emergency gas engineers volunteer to defer leaving dates to support response to coronavirus

working for us

These two gents have deferred their retirement dates to help Cadent’s gas emergency service during the coronavirus crisis.
The North West’s gas emergency team is a vital service, with hundreds of engineers on standby 24/7 to get to reports of smells of gas or suspected carbon monoxide incidents.

First-call operatives (FCO) Mike Aldridge and Alan Brown are both 58 and due to retire this year after over 80 years’ service between them – but have decided to keep on working instead.
“We don’t know how many of our engineers this will impact, so it just didn’t seem right me going ahead with retirement,” said Mike, who covers a patch including Stockport, Tameside and High Peak. “Also, if I did retire, I’d probably just be at home, self-isolating, so I’d much rather be out there – as long as I am fit and healthy – keeping myself busy and helping customers keep safe.”
Alan, part of Cadent’s team covering the Lake District area, added: “If a few of the FCOs get this, it would put a strain on resources. So, I’ve decided it’s right that I put off retirement for now and help out. It’ll keep me busy and means we can help keep people warm in their homes.”
Cadent looks after over 21,000 miles of gas mains in the North West region, which deliver gas to more than 2.7 million properties, for central heating, hot water and cooking. Placed end to end, that amount of pipes would run from Manchester to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Cadent also provides the gas emergency service for the same area, with hundreds of engineers in the region ready to respond to smells of gas and suspected carbon monoxide incidents. They are strategically placed to reach an incident within an hour if the situation requires it.
Extra precautions are now being taken during the Covid-19 outbreak, to ensure that if an engineer needs to enter a property, both he/she and the occupants are kept safe.
Jenny Moten, Director of Cadent’s North West network, said: “I’m immensely proud of Mike and Alan – what an amazing decision to volunteer to defer retirement as we all rise to the challenge of dealing with an unprecedented situation. It’s indicative of the spirit shown by everyone at Cadent.

"We continue to maintain an essential service, keeping gas flowing to keep people warm in their homes, hospitals and other buildings. We also continue to provide that ‘peace of mind’ service, with engineers here, ready to respond straight away, if there’s a gas emergency to respond to. The team is working around the clock to do just that and I am proud of every one of them.”


Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

*All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

Media contacts

Kevin Hegarty


07970 694897